Theatrical Mini-Reviews: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Shame, Hugo 3D

I didn’t get a chance to write full reviews for any of these three recent releases, unfortunately, but here are some quick thoughts on them.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
I don’t know if I prefer David Fincher’s adaptation or the original Swedish version, but both are very good films that are aided by incredible performances. Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara were perfectly cast here, and I was particularly impressed with Mara. I didn’t think anyone could top Noomi Rapace’s intense performance from the Swedish trilogy, but Rooney certainly held her own and might have made Lisbeth Salander even more badass. Gotta love Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross’ soundtrack, too, as it gives the movie an ever darker and more sinister tone (not that it needed it, given the source material). The film is a little long (nearly three hours), but it is an entertaining, and often disturbing, ride throughout. 8/10

Wearing its NC-17 rating proudly, Shame goes to great lengths to show the disturbing nature of sex addiction. Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan are a perfect sibling pairing, and each character has major issues. Fassbender plays a thirty-something professional who must have multiple orgasms every day, and Mulligan is his distraught sister who crashes in on him unexpectedly. Steven McQueen’s direction is superb, with some epic long tracking shots. Shame is a bleak film, and its subject matter is hard to watch, but it is exceptionally well made. 9/10

Hugo 3D
Hugo 3D
I don’t watch many 3D movies, but I made an effort to see what Martin Scorcese had up his sleeve with Hugo 3D. I didn’t know much going into it, other than it was getting rave reviews, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that the history of film was a major focus of the movie. It was a tad ironic to see silent film clips shown during a 3D flick, but it worked. In a way, this reminded me of Rango in that it was a film for film lovers. Those who dig the classics will gain the most enjoyment from this, but Hugo 3D is a movie that anyone can enjoy regardless. 9/10

34 thoughts on “Theatrical Mini-Reviews: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Shame, Hugo 3D

  1. omnivorouscinephile says:

    Great brief reviews. I haven’t seen Shame yet (on my list, though) but I’ve seen the other two. Overall I think I like Fincher’s better than the Swedish version, but not by much, and there were parts of the Swedish that were better. I did like that Salandar’s contact for computer hardware was wearing a Nine Inch Nails t-shirt. Hugo warmed my cinema lover’s heart. Loved it.

    • Eric says:

      Welcome to the Warning Sign, and thank you for the friendly comment! I would like to revisit the Swedish version (maybe once I finish the book) just to compare the differences with both fresh in my mind. I agree that the NIN t-shirt was a nice touch, and that opening credits scene was very well done. Glad to hear you liked Hugo as well, that was certainly a great little film.

    • John says:

      I liked the NIN reference as well! I haven’t seen the Swedish original (although I have seen the second and third ones) but I was engrossed with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

  2. Matt Stewart says:

    Darn I was hoping for a 10/10 from Hugo 😉

    Good reviews my friend, I have yet to see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo or Shame, and I doubt I will anytime soon haha.

    • Eric says:

      Thanks, Matt! I loved Hugo, but tens are something of a rarity from me. Not even Drive, my favorite movie from 2011, was able to get the elusive perfect score. Still a wonderful film though.

  3. CMrok93 says:

    Dragon Tattoo: Good but way too long and if you have seen the original, there’s not much here that is really surprising other than some very cool moments of Fincher greatness.

    Shame: Great lead performance from Fassbender which is totally Oscar-deserving and McQueen should be applauded for not backing down once from showing it all.

    Hugo: A little too long but still a beautiful and well-made flick that made me actually wanna go and watch some silent films.

    Great reviews here my man. Hope to see more!

    • Eric says:

      Thanks, Dan! I have some more reviews in the pipeline, though I am still playing catch-up with all of the year end stuff, heh.

      In regards to your movie comments, I can agree with most of them. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a little lengthy, but I felt it was compelling enough that the runtime never became a burden. Hugo definitely made me want to go back and watch some of the classics as well. I plan on watching Melies’ “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” after Air release their new soundtrack next month. Should be a lot of fun.

  4. rtm says:

    Hey, nice new layout Eric. I like Hugo, it’s in my top 10 of the year, but the other two I’m not sure I want to check out. I know they’re well-made but I probably won’t enjoy ’em. Anyway, nice reviews!

    • Eric says:

      Thanks Ruth! I am still playing around with the new design, but I am liking it much better than the last one already. Shame and TGWTDT are great, but yeah, they have some pretty dark subject matter and aren’t really for everyone.

  5. Castor says:

    Nice bunch of good movies. Glad you liked them all. I wasn’t as big of a fan of Hugo which I thought was very poorly paced and a bit of a mess script-wise, but still solid movie.

  6. Scott Lawlor says:

    Quite an interesting mix of films there matey. WOuld make a very interesting triple bill for sure.

    I still haven’t seen HUGO but I see lots of people liking it, so I am looking forward to the blu ray release.

    Like the new theme matey

    • Eric says:

      Thanks Scott. I need to beef up the graphical side of things, but I like the general layout of this theme. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Hugo when you are able to see it. It should look beautiful on Blu-ray.

  7. Jaina says:

    It’s funny, when sitting watching Dragon Tattoo, I never noticed the length. Thought David Fincher did a superb job with pacing of the film.

    Still yet to see Shame or Hugo. Shame’s only just been released here and on my to-watch list.

    Would have loved to have seen Hugo, but I was desperately trying to find a 2D screening, and just couldn’t.

    • Eric says:

      Hi Jaina, welcome to the Warning Sign! The one thing from TGWTDT that might have made it feel a little longer was the last twenty minutes or so. After the tense scene with the explosive crash (staying vague to avoid spoilers), it was hard to recapture that emotional high. I know the movie was just following the source material, but the comedown afterward was a bit harsh. Still, I really enjoyed the movie and liked the darker ending anyway.

      If you aren’t entirely opposed to the idea, I would highly recommend seeing Hugo in 3D. It’s one of those rare movies where the 3D actually enhances the experience.

  8. Nostra says:

    Will be a while before I can see both Shame and Hugo (coming out next month over here), but looking forward to both of them.

    Having already seen the original Dragon Tattoo one I don’t think I’ll check out the new one.

  9. 3guys1movie says:

    Loved Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, wish Shame was playing around here as I want to see it badly. Did not care for Hugo, thought it needed some editing and had the worst Macguffin of the year. I wanted that automoton to get up and do a jig or spit out gold coins or something. Nice quick reviews

    • Eric says:

      Haha, I didn’t mind the diversion from finishing the automaton, especially since it got into the real heart of the story with George Méliès. Glad to hear you liked TGWTDT, though, and I am looking forward to reading your review on Shame when you get to see it.

  10. jsicktheslick says:

    I know I mentioned here before that I thought “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” was pretty damn epic, and I also need to say that your are spot on with Rooney Mara’s performance. She did an incredible job, and delivered every line with poise and (for lack of a better term) badassery.
    Shame caught my eye last month, but I’ve yet to see it. The plot is intriguing and I am hearing nothing but praise from Fassbender’s acting. Definitely need to see this one soon. Nice mini-review session, Eric!

    • Eric says:

      Thanks dude! Rooney Mara really impressed me; her role as Lisbeth was such a total contrast from her appearance in The Social Network. She did an amazing job.

      Shame is terrific, even though the subject matter is very dark. Hope you’re able to see it soon.

  11. Sam Fragoso says:

    I’m looking forward to SHAME … just hasn’t been released here yet.

    HUGO & TATTOO didn’t do much for me. Especially the former.

    Glad you enjoyed the films though.

    Keep up the great work.

  12. The Focused Filmographer says:

    Your mini-reviews are great. to the point and direct.

    Continue to hear great things about Mara’s role in Rapace’s footsteps. Good for her.

    It’s a “shame” that Fassbender isn’t getting as many accolades as it seems he is deserving of for all he did in 2011.

    HUGO is definitely one of the BEST 3D movies ever. But it still lacked, to me. I read over at Anomalous Material what seemed to really sum it up for me. Entitled HUGO, but not about him at all.

    great post!

    • Eric says:

      Thank you very much for the kind comment!

      Yeah, Fassbender had a great year, didn’t he? I still need to see A Dangerous Method, but he was terrific in Shame, X-Men and even Jane Eyre. I am really looking forward to his future projects.

      I can agree that Hugo was one of the best 3D movies I have seen. The 3D was never overbearing, and Scorcese’s subtle touches were particularly enjoyable. Glad to hear you enjoyed it as well (for the most part).

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